Knee Deep In The Dead
Resident Evil 5 Demo Thoughts

By Shaun Hatton - January 26th, 2009

I fired up the Xbox 360 today for the first time in a while just to download the Resident Evil 5 demo. Upon playing it, I didn’t immediately notice much difference aesthetically from Resident Evil 4. I was wrong! There are some considerable advancements in both look and feel for part five.

Among them, you can now strafe. Walking while shooting is still not possible, but the new strafing ability is a welcome addition and makes ducking in and out of the line of fire much easier. Other control upgrades include the inventory control screen. In Resident Evil 4, Leon had an attaché case full of weapons and other accessories. Accessing it would pause in-game action, allowing you to take your time to access weapons or mix herbs. In Resident Evil 5, this screen is now a pop up interface that appears while the action is still going on, so weapon switching has to be done quickly. It’s a good thing, then, that weapons can also be switched by hitting different directions on the d-pad.

Chris also appears to carry all this weapons on his person. This makes for a more believable visual. Instead of pausing the action to select a weapon and returning to the game with a giant gun he couldn’t possibly have carried, Chris switches to his rifle or shotgun by just pulling it off his back. Of course, he still does this with an ungodly speed to keep the game playable.

Other visual tweaks include facial expressions of your attackers. When they get too close, they’ll try to grab at you. During these attacks, their mouths will open to reveal tentacled parasites that appear to be a form of the Las Plagas virus seen in the previous instalment of the series. Explosions look better than ever, especially when you hit a flammable barrel. Watch out! These aren’t the wimpy ones Leon Kennedy got too comfortable around. The blast radius may not be much bigger this time around, but the visual effect is nothing short of astounding.

Also new to Resident Evil 5 is the cooperative play element (though Resident Evil Zero did this, RE5 has multi-player online and locally). A useless sidekick who you have to babysit no longer accompanies you. Instead, Sheva kicks ass and takes names. She even saves your ass a few times (and you get to return the favour, too). The two-player element makes for an interesting dynamic. Now you’ll have to manage ammo and items for two, and decide which character gets to pick up which item.

Perhaps the best part about RE5’s demo, however, is that it felt a lot like RE4. This can only be a good thing. It even has chainsaw-wielding villains.

The demo does have some limited dialogue between the two protagonists and after a few firefights it can get repetitive. Here’s hoping that this is something that’ll be addressed before the game hits retail.

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    7 responses so far:
  2. Posted on Jan 26, 2009

    Holy fast work Batman! RE5 sounds great; thanks for the rundown :)

  3. Posted on Jan 27, 2009

    It’s pretty cool. I was a huge fan of RE4 so this was a great treat for me. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about it.

  4. By Michael Nesci
    Posted on Jan 29, 2009

    The RE5 demo is awesome. just tried it out and I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for this one.

  5. Posted on Jan 30, 2009

    I disliked it… now I must feel shame.

  6. Posted on Jan 30, 2009

    @Wylie

    Indeed! Go hide yourself in POP and don’t come out for a month!

  7. By Chris RedField
    Posted on Feb 13, 2009

    I to have downloaded this demo, and was simply disapointed in all the criticism that this demo is getting. I mean this demo is GREAT! 5/5 I’ve played the public assembly a good 20 times. This game was the reason I bought an X box 360! I see alot of differnce from RE4 & RE5. 1 major being that Chris isn’t a cheesey one liner geek like Leon. I feel a more serious tone from this game than I did in for. I feel that the story will be far more compeling than that of RE4. I’ve preorderd the Collectors Edition. Can’t Wait!!!!

  8. Posted on Feb 13, 2009

    I like Leon best out of all the RE cast members. He’s more smartass than geeky – and what’s wrong with being a geek?

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